Farmers and producers

Farm sales activity hits a low

[11 December/ Farmers Weekly] Farm sales volumes for the three months to the end of October fell by 26 percent compared to the prior corresponding period. The median sale price was $24,982 per hectare for October, more than 8 percent lower than September and 3.8 percent lower than October 2016. The Real Estate Institute All-farm...

Dry weather already feeding into NZ markets

[5 December/ NZ Herald] The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said a powerful and persistent ridge of high pressure over much of New Zealand during the second half of November caused near-record or record dryness in some locations, and has led to the depletion of soil moisture levels. NIWA explained that plants...

Farmer confidence drops 41 per cent

[5 December/ NZ Herald] The Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey results have shown New Zealand farmer confidence drop in the final quarter of the year and has tumbled 41 percent in the past six months. Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country banking, Hayley Moynihan said around 80 percent of farmers who believed the rural economy...

Dry weather spells potential problems for farmers

[30 November/ Stuff] Weatherwatch Head Weather Analyst, Philip Duncan said farmers in some parts of the country could be in trouble if it did not stop raining soon. Mr Duncan explained that Northland, Auckland’s West Coast, Taranaki, Manawatu, Canterbury and Southland were drier than normal and contractors were concerned about the fact that grass had...

Earthquake-damaged rural land use studies begin

[30 November/ NZ Herald] Farmers, growers and foresters in the South Island’s earthquake affected regions have been encouraged to use the $5,000 worth of funded advisory services each to plan how they would farm in the future. The Ministry for Primary Industries has approved at least 20 suppliers of advisory services to help farmers decide...

Government to tighten rules around selling land to overseas buyers

[29 November/ Stuff] Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage, and Associate Finance Minister, David Parker, have announced restrictions on foreign land buyers. The new restrictions meant any sale of more than five hectares of New Zealand land to a foreign buyer would have to undergo scrutiny by the Overseas investment Office before it could be approved....

Farmers want say in government’s tax review

[24 November/ Radio NZ] Former Labour Finance Minister, Michael Cullen would chair from February 2018, with the group is calling for someone with an agri-sector background to join him. Federated Farmers Vice President, Andrew Hoggard said the tax working group needed someone that understood the industry to ensure farmer representation, especially if issues such as...

Irrigators on hard hit farms going flat-out after more than a month without rain

[23 November/ Stuff] Central North Island farmers have had their irrigators going flat out for the past few weeks as the region has been without rain for more than a month. Manawatu Dairy Farmer, Robert Ervine said pasture covers were dropping and farmers needed rain for more grass to grow and crops which had just...

Landcorp records a $50 million profit

[21 November/ Rural News Group] Landcorp has reported an after-tax profit of $51.9 million for the year to August 31. In its 2017 annual report, asset values increased to $1.81 billion in 2016-17 and debt fell from $219.6 million to $206.9 million. Recently re-branded as Pāmu Farms of New Zealand, Chief Executive Steve Carden said...

Lift in Waikato dairy farm listings as ageing farmers look to exit

[16 November/Stuff] A cold and wet spring has stunted the rural real estate market despite a significant increase in dairy farm listings in Waikato. A quiet winter selling period, tighter bank lending criteria, potential changes to the Overseas Investment Act and appalling North Island weather made showcasing any farms on the market challenging. PGG Wrightson...

Main TV networks decline to screen Young Farmer final

[16 November/Otago Daily Times] For a second year in a row, New Zealand free to air television networks TVNZ and TV3 have declined to screen the FMG Young Farmer of The Year contest. TVNZ and TV3 have declined due to shifting television priorities to more entertainment-based programmes. Contest Chairman Dean Rabbidge said the contest board...

Farming people the biggest concern

[14 November/Dairy News] According to a survey conducted by Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) the biggest challenges for farmers were people: having the quality staff, on-farm communication, managing staff, time to work on their business and not in their business and management. The results were presented at a recent DWN meeting by Chief Executive Zelda de...

Fine weather has agricultural contractors working hard to get ground ready for crops

[10 November/Stuff] Fine weather has enabled farmers in the southern North Island to get out and flat their land ready for crops. Recent weeks of wet conditions had set farmers back. However, most were now on track. Some contractors rate the wet spring the worst in 50 years. Andrew Pedley from Pedley Contracting, based at...

New venture about more than just peanut butter

[10 November/New Zealand Herald] Dunedin Builder Michael Hastie has established Bay Road peanut butter, producing the spread from a commercial kitchen at the Musselburgh Baptist Church in Dunedin. He launched his product at the Otago Farmers Market this weekend. He has hopes to set up a small factory in the future. Mr Hastie set up...

Two new farms in South Canterbury suspected of carrying cattle disease

[8 November/Stuff] Mycoplasma bovis may have been detected on two new farms in the Waimate district after suspicious test results. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has placed a Restricted Place Notice over the properties to stop the movement of livestock. Both farms are owned by the Van Leeuwens. The results would be confirmed by...

More resilient approaches to Pacific farming outlined

[6 November/Radio New Zealand] Chief Executive of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Andrew Campbell said that the changing agricultural climate of the Pacific had placed a huge importance on growing crops in the region healthier and more resilient. His organisation has been directly involved with improving the resilience of crops in the Pacific,...

Brent Sheather: Super Fund’s farm buys look good value

[8 November/ New Zealand Herald] The NZ Super Fund announced it had made its first offshore farm investment in a leading Australian beef stud. This investment totals the fund’s rural land portfolio to 33 farms worth $340 million; just under 1 percent of the Super Fund’s total assets. Chief Investment Officer Matt Whineray said the...

Alliance getting house in order

[2 November/Otago Daily times] Alliance Group has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of work-related injuries by 40 percent.  Alliance Group Chief Executive David Surveyor was thrilled with the result. The company had recently focused on improving their health and safety standards. For the 2017 year, one in every 36 employees was injured (total...

Farming subsidies ‘should be scrapped’

[2 November/NZ Farmer] A report from Think Tank Chatham House has said a market-orientated farming model, such as the one in New Zealand, is the only way for the UK to benefit from free trade while committing to green targets in a post-Brexit environment. It is calling for farming subsidies to be heavily curtailed or...

Mycoplasma bovis cull ‘excruciating time’ for farmers

[27 October/New Zealand Herald] Sarah Barr, a Trustee of the South Canterbury Rural Support Trust, said the Mycoplasma bovis cattle culling was an excruciating time for farmers affected at a meeting on Thursday. Ministry Technical Liaison Officer Victoria Barrell said she wanted the ministry to get on with its planned cull of 4000 animals on...

Farmers urged to check handling of hazardous substances

[30 October/Stuff] WorkSafe NZ Chief Inspector Darren Handforth is urging farmers to check their handling and storage of hazardous substances as changes to our health and safety regulations are due to come into effect on December 1. Mr Handforth said that farmers often underestimate the risks from using sprays and fertilisers, which can result in...

Farm vandals drain milk, puncture tyres

[22 October/Radio New Zealand] At least three Canterbury farms were vandalised over the long weekend. Hororata Farmer Dougal King said holes were drilled in 30 irrigator tyres on Friday night. He suspected a radical member of a protest group was responsible. A farm in Leeston, Canterbury also had Fifty-thousand litres of milk was drained out...

AgriKidsNZ events proving popular

[23 October/Otago Daily Times] Organisers of the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitions are advising teams to enter now because of the popularity of the event. Competitions will be held around the country to coincide with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional finals, which start in February. New Zealand Young Farmers Competitions Co-ordinator David Highsted...

Retired farmer as busy as ever in community

[22 October/Otago Daily Times] Retired sheep and beef farmer Ken Gillespie he is still just as busy as ever. He takes tourists on tours, sits on an irrigation company, as well as on water strategy and water user groups, belongs to Lions, and is a wool classer for the Merino Shearing competition. Mr Gillespie was...